Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of sadness experienced during certain times of the year. Commonly known as ‘Winter Depression’, the condition often sees people battle low moods and heightened irritability throughout the colder, darker months. While feeling down from time-to-time is completely normal, a constant state of unhappiness or disturbed relaxation that interferes with your day-to-day life could be a sign of SAD, especially if it becomes apparent as it gets colder.
Therefore it’s important to maintain normal levels of the brain chemicals needed to keep your moods stable. Curious to know a few natural ways to balance your internal biology and return that spring in your step? Then read: SAD? 5 Mood-Enhancing Ways to Defeat it This Winter!
1. If You Get SAD: Take more of the Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D deficiency has been related to a decline in mood by a lot of healthcare and medical professionals simply due to the fact that the environment around us stays dimmer for longer during the winter.
Therefore, you may be more likely to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder if there is a shortage of this vitamin. We need contact with sunlight inside a specific UVB range to make vitamin D through our skin and generate vital internal compounds to tackle dips in mood. Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’. So topping up either through supplements, or by occasionally exposing your skin to sunshine can help relieve depression.
2. Drink Water
Dehydration could make you less energetic and leave you unable to concentrate on important tasks, eventually taking a negative toll on your mood. If you find this happening to you, staying hydrated will be a great place to start. Drinking several glasses of water a day can really set you up to keep you feeling and performing at your best.
3. Take Extra Vitamin B & Iron
Also, studies have shown Vitamin B and iron to be linked with mood regulating brain chemicals after levels were found to be lower among depressed patients. To increase your iron and vitamin B intake, eat sufficient amounts of spinach, shellfish, (if you’re not vegetarian or vegan) legumes, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and tofu. These help carry oxygen around the body and generate red blood cells.
4. Get a Proper Amount of Sleep
The most obvious outcome of not sleeping, or being deprived of it, is unsettled behaviour. For instance, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re likely to be cranky, forgetful, emotionally on edge and even unsociable. If taken to extremes it can quite easily spill into depression because the body is simply not getting the rest it needs to function well.
With sleep deprivation, stress will likely soon follow. Many people find themselves in a cycle of lack of sleep, and thus, being in a suboptimal emotional and physical state, it results in further accumulative stress that can make it harder to get a restful sleep. To help relieve symptoms of SAD, ensure you get a good night’s rest. Prepare by drinking chamomile tea before bed, setting your room at a comfortable temperature and avoiding your phone and other screens an hour ahead of going to sleep.
5. Consider Trying CBD
Studies have indicated that CBD oil has a stabilising impact on mood because it acts upon the endocannabinoid system responsible for maintaining homeostasis, which is a stable internal physical and chemical condition. As a result, it can help improve sleep, pain, digestion, immunity, memory and also, mood.
CBD oil targets the same bodily receptors that antidepressant medications do but without the side effects since it’s made entirely of natural, non-intoxicating substances. It ultimately kindles the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin for anti-anxiety and other uplifting, mood-enhancing effects. Therefore taking CBD oil can potentially bring positive results in cases of depression. If you lead a busy, hectic life and find it tough to unwind then it may be worth giving CBD oil a try!